10 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets Heading Into Week 16
More injuries, snow, and a new NFL record was set in Week 15. The fantasy semi-finals were filled with more storylines to track heading into the final weeks of the regular season. With most leagues ending in Week 16, we've put together another list of possible waiver adds ahead of Week 16. Congrats to those still competing, and good luck in your final push for a fantasy championship.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Miami Dolphins
Yahoo! Ownership: 25%
Ryan Fitzpatrick, at 37 years of age, has 219 rushing yards through Week 15. Kalen Ballage ended the season with 135 yards before going on injured reserve. Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskin only have 84 and 11 yards, respectively. So the Harvard graduate is not only the leading passer on his team but also the leading rusher for the Miami Dolphins. While that’s more of an indictment of the Dolphins’ running game, we’ll take the production however it comes. Fitzpatrick has now finished as a QB1 in three of the last five weeks and now faces the Cincinnati Bengals, who entered Week 15 with the fourth-worst Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play (0.27).
Jacoby Brissett, QB, Indianapolis Colts
Yahoo! Ownership: 37%
We’d prefer a healthy T.Y. Hilton, but Jacoby Brissett has been viable as a streaming quarterback over the past few weeks. The Indianapolis Colts’ offense has quietly shifted tactics (likely due to negative game flow) and become more aggressive through the air. Brissett passed on only 53.4% of their offensive plays through most of the season. That rate jumped to 63.4% and 66.7% in Weeks 13 and 14. With the team trailing in each of their last three games, Brissett has been forced to take to the air in order to keep up with the opposing offense. While we have no idea what to expect out of Kyle Allen on a week-to-week basis, the Colts should be able to take advantage of the Carolina Panthers’ secondary, who surrendered over 100 yards to Russell Wilson on deep passes alone. With the Colts back at home, Brissett becomes a viable streamer in Week 16.
Honorable Mentions or Deep-League Adds: Dwayne Haskins (3%) eclipsed 250 passing yards for the first time in his career against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 15. Washington stays at home and plays host to the New York Giants, who rank sixth-worst in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play. Ryan Fitzpatrick recorded both of his touchdowns on deep passes (passes of 15 air yards or more) lending credence to another big performance for Terry McLaurin, too. It's hard to imagine fantasy managers needing to dig this deep, but the Ohio State connection may work out again in Week 16.
Boston Scott, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Yahoo! Ownership: 8%
Darren Sproles may be on injured reserve, but it sure does look like he’s out there on the field wearing #35. Boston Scott now has 13 targets over the last two weeks. His 14% target share is third on the team (ahead of Miles Sanders), and he’s second on the team in receiving yards. Injuries to the wide receivers and Jordan Howard have forced Scott into the rotation, and his instant production has left most of the fantasy community wondering what took so long for Doug Pederson to use the second-year back. The workload (30.8% running back rushing share) has been consistent over the short term, giving Scott more appeal in PPR leagues. The Eagles play host to a Dallas Cowboys defense that was just peppered with short-area targets by Jared Goff. With the Eagles in a must-win situation, Scott should be added (and started) in PPR leagues.
Dion Lewis, RB, Tennessee Titans
Yahoo! Ownership: 12%
This is more about capturing the Tennessee Titans’ backfield should Derrick Henry’s injury worsen. Henry was seen with a wrap around his leg throughout the game. He still handed 87.5% of the running back carries, but Week 15 was his first game under 100 yards and no touchdowns since Week 8. Dion Lewis saw most of his action in the fourth quarter, as the Titans were scrambling to catch up with under three minutes to go in the game. His touchdown is certainly noteworthy, but the pace of play likely had a larger role in his increased snaps. As the Titans prepare to face the New Orleans Saints (10th-best in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play), Lewis should be secured in all formats given his role may increase if Henry aggravates the injury further. With their playoff hopes still alive, both running backs may be needed to help Tennessee secure a spot in the tournament.
Honorable Mentions or Deep-League Adds: Mike Boone (2%) took over for Dalvin Cook, as the Minnesota Vikings’ starting running back re-injured his shoulder early in Week 15. Alexander Mattisonn was ruled out prior to the game with an ankle injury, leaving Mike Boone to carry the load once Cook exited the contest. Boone was able to convert two short runs (three and nine yards) for touchdowns and finished the week in the top 24. Minnesota still won the game, and their playoff chances are nearly a lock, minimizing the need for Cook to play in Week 16 or 17. Even if Cook practices, Boone becomes a must-own given the health of the other running backs in Minnesota.
Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears
Yahoo! Ownership: 26%
Opposing defenses and fantasy managers have been focused on Allen Robinson as the alpha wide receiver for the Chicago Bears. However, Anthony Miller has been right behind Robinson and should carry higher ownership despite the Bears being eliminated from the playoffs. Miller has maintained a 25% target share over the past four games and amassed 377 yards and 2 touchdowns on 41 targets over that span. His 83.3% slot rate puts him in a prime position to continue this trend as Mitchell Trubisky’s 6.22 yards per attempt are 34th in the league for all quarterbacks with more than 150 attempts. Miller and the Bears host the Kansas City Chiefs, who have been generous to pass catchers out of the slot in previous weeks (Julian Edelman in Week 14, Darren Waller in Week 13, and Keenan Allen in Week 11). The likely negative game script should provide a floor for the passing offense, boosting Miller’s value in Week 16. With more injuries to the wide receiver position in Week 15, fantasy managers could use a player like Miller as a fill-in for their lost assets.
Greg Ward , WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Yahoo! Ownership: 1%
The converted quarterback went from the practice squad to Eagles hero in about a week after catching the game-winning touchdown from Carson Wentz against Washington. Ward’s highlight touchdown should have him on the radar for most fantasy managers, but his usage throughout the game should solidify your waiver claim. Ward was second on the team in targets, taking on a 21% target share that resulted in 7 receptions, 61 yards, and the touchdown. His route chart was filled with crossers and drags that are high-percentage routes with quick reads for Wentz. The diversity from both a depth and route perspective gives Ward a solid outlook for Week 16 as the Eagles face the Cowboys.
Honorable Mentions or Deep-League Adds: Kenny Stills (16%) only saw three targets in Week 15 but was able to convert two of those into touchdowns. While it likely ruined the day of anyone starting Will Fuller, Stills does have a role in the offense playing in the slot with the speed to work downfield. The touchdowns will be hard to repeat, but capturing a piece of an offense scoring 25.3 points per game over their last three (13th-highest in the league) is justifiable. Plus, the Houston Texans are traveling to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have typically been a positive matchup for opposing offenses (ranked 16th in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play). If upside is what you need, Stills has that along with a good offense and matchup in Week 16.
O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Yahoo! Ownership: 41%
The Buccaneers lost Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller to hamstring injuries in Week 15 after losing Mike Evans in Week 14. Despite a fracture thumb, Jameis Winston continued to pass the ball for another 450-plus-yard performance to set an NFL record. O.J. Howard wound up leading the team in targets with a 19% target share and is one of the only reliable pass catchers remaining on the active roster. Howard’s season has been a nightmare for fantasy owners, but with both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin out, Howard should be in line for a similar target share in Week 16 as the Buccaneers face the Houston Texans.
Mike Gesicki, TE, Miami Dolphins
Yahoo! Ownership: 28%
With DeVante Parker and Albert Wilson sidelined throughout half of Week 14, Mike Gesicki was unable to capitalize on their absence, only recording a single reception against the New York Giants. Parker and Wilson returned in Week 15, boosting Gesicki’s target share to 20% along with his air and receiving yards. The uptick in production bodes well for the second-year tight end, as Miami faces Cincinnati in Week 16. With the primary defensive focus on Parker, Gesicki should be able to see a similar workload with a chance at getting into the end zone in Week 16.
Honorable Mentions or Deep-League Adds: Tyler Eifert (7%) saw more than four targets for the first time since Week 8. With Auden Tate now on injured reserve, Eifert has moved back into the target rotation for Andy Dalton, as Eifert finished Week 15 second in targets with a 16% market share. After a brutal matchup against the New England Patriots, Cincinnati now travels to Miami to play against a Dolphins defense that just allowed Eli Manning to throw for two touchdowns. With the tight end landscape always proving to be an issue for fantasy managers, at least the upside is there for starting a pass catcher against the worst pass secondary in the league (last in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play).
Houston Texans, D/ST
Yahoo! Ownership: 41%
Jameis Winston has thrown at least one interception in all but four games in 2019. His penchant for turnovers has made each opposing defense a viable option, as the Bucs’ quarterback attempts to lead the league in both passing touchdowns and interceptions simultaneously. The Houston D/ST has been able to generate pressure (five sacks over their past three games), boosting the chance for fumbles and defensive scores. Jameis has been deadly through the air as of late (914 passing yards in two games), but the likely chance of turnovers should be worth a waiver claim for fantasy managers.
Denver Broncos, D/ST
Yahoo! Ownership: 23%
The Denver D/ST will be at home facing the Detroit Lions in Week 16. The Lions had negative five passing yards at the end of the first quarter in Week 15. That’s not a typo. They didn’t score any points until the second quarter. Their top scorer was a running back by the name of Wes Hills. As Detroit has now lost by double-digit margins in two straight games, the Broncos may look to bounce back after a rough time in Kansas City amidst the snow.